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by Sheila Maria Lobo
June 21st, 2011

Rooftop has partnered with Josh Goldbloom’s Awesome Fest and we’re thrilled to be aiding its mission: bringing AWESOME, completely FREE independent cinema to the city of Philadelphia. At one of Philly’s unique alternative venues, The Piazza at Schmidt’s, The Awesome Fest will present a FULL SUMMER’s worth of films direct from top Festivals like  SXSW,  Tribeca,  and  Sundance, often accompanied by the filmmakers and stunning talent. These won’t just be screenings, but full-on events.

Locals know that Philadelphia is a culturally-rich town, but the cultural love is not spread evenly, with limited true art houses and Film Festivals occurring only two or three weeks out of the year. Josh has made great strides in building PUFF (Philly Underground Film Fest) and bringing life back to the Philly CineFest. The Awesome Fest will strive for even more change — for growth in the movement to create a Philadelphia based community centered on independent film. But in order to get there, The Awesome Fest needs your support.

One of the films to be shown is the SXSW documentary hit CONVENTO, a touching portrait of the  innovative artist Christiaan Zwaniiken, who builds robots out of dead animals and found objects. The Awesome Fest will fly in the kinetic sculpture artist, and his robo-creations, as well as directo Jarred Alterman, for the Sunday, July 31 screening.

Filmmaker Robert Greene and 10 of the featured wrestlers from his documentary FAKE IT SO REAL will attend the Saturday, July 30 screening. This intimate look inside the world of indie wrestling will be followed by a live wrestling battle royale  featuring the film’s subjects.

As well, we’ll provide the opportunity to see Ian Cheney’s THE CITY DARK, after which he’ll lead a discussion within perfect context – outdoors, under the stars, in a major city.

The entirety of the series, including films like: Super, These Amazing ShadowsDespicable Dick & Righteous Richard,  Reindeerspotting,  Orbit,  Senna, and a very special Closing Night film they’re not quite ready to announce yet… are films that will likely not get a chance to play in Philadelphia otherwise. And the opportunity for filmmakers to engage their audience face-to-face is not so easily made accessible.

Please help by making a small… or large…or very large contribution. Proceeds will go toward the venue, travel and hospitality for guests, screening fees, event setup and breakdown (wrestlers need a wrestling ring!), promotional materials, graphic designers, and much more.

The series WILL go forward regardless of this campaign’s success. Whether you are able to donate or not, please at least come out in person to support (for free!) those who make and those who love quality film. Let’s make this an AWESOME summer for Philadelphia!

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About Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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